Both sides of government fail to reach agreement on youth crime report



A STATE government committee set up to look at how to tackle the serious issues around youth crime has failed to even submit a draft interim report with both sides of the government using items contained in the interim report as a political football and sadly no major goals were scored on this occasion.  

Chaired by Independent Noosa MP Sandy Bolton, the Youth Justice Reform Select Committee was set up in October last year and had three members from each side and included Ninderry MP Dan Purdie from the LNP.  

The Committee was unable to reach bipartisan support on an interim report and Ms Bolton sought a relaxation on the voting procedures in order to submit the draft interim report.  

“Five or six recommendations required further work, and I had hoped these would have been refined should my request to Parliament to revert to standard voting rules have 

been granted,” Ms Bolton said. 

“This from my understanding was the only way to ensure that the interim report would become public as expected by Queenslanders.”  

At the late-night sitting of parliament on Wednesday, April 17 Leader of the House and Minister for Energy Mick de Brenni moved a motion that the committee be disbanded – it was carried.  

“In moving this motion, I must say it is disappointing for all of us to hear that the LNP have played politics with the issue of youth justice.”  

Ms Bolton stated the six months of work had, “not been easy and has come at great cost.”  

“This has been an incredibly difficult environment, heightened by the media and the politicking with the upcoming election.  

“As chair, I have endeavoured every step of the way to work patiently, impartially, respectfully and collaboratively with both sides of this chamber to get a balanced, nonpartisan report on the many contentious issues that we have heard about.”  

The report had a draft recommendation that access to the Children’s Court be granted to journalists and victims.  

This recommendation was one that was not equally supported.  

Mr Purdie stated that he would not sign off on a report which he said was going to suppress the media.  

“There was no way I was going to put my name to a report that talks about gagging the media and silencing victims in order to improve the perception of crime. 

“Labor’s sacking of the committee just proves they care more about politics than people. 

Speaking in parliament on April 18 Mr Purdie made his views further known about the government.  

“The chair of the committee moved a motion asking for a week’s extension to the arbitrary timeline this government had placed on the committee.  

“Members opposite voted it down. It was only another week. This government proved last night that it was politicising this issue when it blew it up because of an arbitrary timeline.”  

Extensions had already been granted with Ms Bolton stating that, “multiple meetings and extensions over a number of weeks… the report failed to achieve a majority.”  

Premier Stephen Miles stated on April 18 that one of the main reasons the Committee was shut down was due to the opposition blocking motions.  

“I can be very clear that the actions that the government took last night were in response to the repeated blocking of the majority of the committee’s determination to release a report.  

“All the committee wanted to do was release a report and I understand those opposite for weeks consistently blocked the committee’s determination to release a report.” 

The government did move a motion for the release of the report which has now been publicly released.  

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